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When You Don't Get Why People Want to Live

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Editor’s note: If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world

Sometimes, I really don’t get them.

People who want to live.

People who wake up with a will and a desire to keep going, to fight against the darkness that threatens to overwhelm, that waits, ever-present, to attack and consume.

I don’t get it.

I don’t understand people who think living is better than dying.

Because dying, oh my. It can seem like such a beautiful, blissful release. Who would want to stay in this world, where the fragile and frail are preyed upon daily by the strong and successful?

But then… I remember — I have a disorder. A disorder that makes me perpetually uneasy with the Way Things Are. A disorder that causes me to think of everything in terms of yes or no, black or white, stay or go.

I know this is not the reality of Things. This is not the Way Things Are, or the Way Things Should Be. This is simply the Way Things Seem when I am in the midst of a depressive episode.

I write, and it keeps the darkness at bay for a time. I disgorge the blackness onto the screen and the words console me, give me time to sort out my feelings and thoughts. Writing is catharsis for me, but sometimes even writing won’t push the suffocating blanket of depression back so I can breathe.

And so I reach out. I reach out to my husband, to my children, to my mother, my siblings, those around me who have willing ears and wiling hearts to listen. And they do. They listen, and they convince me to stay.

There are those who want so badly to convince you to remain. Don’t fly away just yet. Stay. Live yet a little while longer. Live, and grow, and find new reasons to exist one more day.

Reach out to them. Call a friend. Call a loved one. Call the hotline. Call anybody you can think of, but just call. Or text! Nowadays the suicide hotline has a texting option. This is invaluable for those of us who cringe from the very idea of making a phone call. Text 741-741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.

When you don’t get why people want to live; when depression tells you death would be better than life, there are those who understand, who get it. We know how you feel. We are ready to listen, if you can but see your way clear to take the first step towards feeling better.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Originally published: July 1, 2016
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